ATI Radeon HD 4890: The RV790 Unveiled - HotHardware

ATI Radeon HD 4890: The RV790 Unveiled

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HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: We tested the graphics cards in this article on an Gigabyte GA-EX58 Extreme motherboard powered by a Core i7 920 quad-core processor and 6GB of OCZ DDR3 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring these test system was enter the system BIOS and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings. Then we manually configured the memory timings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 was installed. When the installation was complete we fully updated the OS, and installed the latest DX10 redist and various hotfixes, along with the necessary drivers and applications.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Core i7 920 (2.66GHz)

Gigabyte EX58-Extreme
(X58 Express Chipset)

Radeon HD 4890 OC (EAH4890 TOP)
Radeon HD 4890 (EAH4890)
Radeon HD 4870 1GB
GeForce GTX 285
GeForce GTX 275
GeForce GTX 260 Core 216

6GB OCZ DDR3-1066 C7
(3 X 2GB)

Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Western Digital "Raptor" 150GB
(10,000RPM - SATA)

Relevant Software:
Windows Vista Ultimate SP1
DirectX March 2009 Redist

ATI Catalyst v9.3b
NVIDIA GeForce Drive v185.63

Benchmarks Used:

3DMark Vantage v1.0.1
FarCry 2
Left 4 Dead*
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.5*

* - Custom benchmark

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

3DMark Vantage

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which y isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's Performance preset option, which uses a resolution of 1280x1024 no anti-aliasing and trilinear filtering.

The NVIDIA powered cards sweep the top three spots in our 3DMark Vantage tests, besting all of the AMD offerings. NVIDIA's latest Release 185 drivers give the cards a nice boost in performance here, that allows even the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 to pull ahead of the brand new Radeon HD 4890 in 3DMark Vantage.

Article Index:

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I knew this was coming. I myself am even though an ATI GPU user not excited about this card itself. I am excited about the prices that will result from it's release. Both AMD/Nvidia will most likely start another price war at least to some extent, bringing prices for performance down further.

Also as per there previous actions in the GPU battle before the 3800 line they released a stand alone top end of the preceding ATI high end card (the XT2950 I think it was). Then a two or three months later they dropped the 3870/50 models. So this may be a pre cursor to some sense.

I am not saying I have any inside info on it. Thats just what I remember them doing a couple years back. I also find it funny this card is a 55nm card, just like there last one, but rumour had it they were going to 45nm for there next GPU set.

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While the power consumption numbers put the 4890 and 4870 in a similar league, we can say the 4890 runs much cooler than the 4870. Our Asus Radeon HD 4890 cards idled at under 50'C and peaked in the mid 80's under load. But where we noticed the biggest difference was when we removed the cards from the test system. After testing, the Radeon HD 4890 felt very warm to the touch when removing it from the test rig, but the Radeon HD 4870 was so much hotter, it was almost too hot to handle without giving it a few minutes to cool down. Not exactly a scientific data point, but something we wanted to mention nonetheless.
I can attest to how hot the 4870s get. This is a huge plus for the 4890.

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The pace of new hardware coming out is a bit overwhelming but thrilling to.Im nowhere near some of you guys ability on obtaining some of this but one way or another Im setting my goals to at least getting an i7 and a Asus board this summer and just go from there!Hopefully with a stimulas check Im suppose to get from my disability will get me started.Maybe the i7/920 and the new Asus p6 with ddr3.Ive got 2 cases one Im redoing and one fairly new one to put something in and cant wait!ITs like going to a toy store everyday when I sign on to HH and read up on all the new tech/TOYS.Hopefully this year will better than last.

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